Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Ramblings...Who's keeping you in the race?

I don't like running. Wait a moment...I HATE running. The way your lungs burn, your muscles get sore and the sweat boils up and spills out onto your face like a pancake covered in sticky syrup...just not as delicious in appearance. There's also the part where I'm afraid of people critiquing my running form. I've never been trained in it. My arms mostly flap and flutter around, hair bounces and falls out of its rubber binder, my mouth hangs open as I frantically pant for air. Oh well though. If I look like a freak running at least I'm running and I always just hope it'll make me look/feel better when it's all through.
Something was thrust upon me recently. I was somehow coerced into running a 5k. To some people a 5k means 3.1 miles. To me it means, lungs burning, muscles being sore, sweat pouring and me looking silly in front of an entire group of pros in under armor apparel.  A month after the first 5k I was talked into another and then another. This morning was the most recent and as I was about three quarters of the way through the course I started wondering why in the world I ever agreed to run this one. The reason though was the fun it is to run with others. I run alone in the morning and I have fun telling my husband when I beat my records. These 5k's allow me to be with a community of runners. I am timed and I get to beat that time and then I get to try to beat that the next time. My favorite part is getting over the finish line and hearing clapping from people who finished far before me and being  handed a stick that says I was 26th in line, then 13th and then 4th.
Just like I enjoy the people who encourage me in running I love the people who encourage me in "the race." That's right. The race the Bible talks about. The one we run for Christ, the race of Christian living. Instead of lungs burning, there have been people burnt at the stake for believing. Muscles have been shredded during persecution for people telling of their experiences with Jesus. No I've never suffered persecution. I've never even been pushed for saying I was a believer. Never hit, scratched, poked or pinched. My frustrations in the race are so much more minute than those in other countries and other cultures. Instead of suffering martyrdom, I suffer from being lazy. Sometimes I'm just too lazy to do my devotions. I suffer misrepresenting Christ. I let bitterness get to me. I make decisions based on the world and success in it. It's when I hear the cheers from other believers, when they see traces of Christ in me and help me to learn more about Him and His character.
Just like my running wouldn't be improved without the help of others pushing me, neither would my faith. Do you have someone pushing you to grow closer to Christ? If not, I think it'd help. Physical health is pretty important but spiritual health has an eternal impact and it's important to start getting into shape now.
- Trinity Lewis

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